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29 October 2011 | Angeline Albert
A purchasing hub for local authorities in
Greater Manchester is on track to achieve £5.5 million savings by March 2012, with
the help of a framework agreement for street lighting services.
The procurement hub for the Association of Greater ManchesterAuthorities (AGMA) (made up of 10 local authorities
and their partners) believes the savings from a framework deal for the
installation, connections and repair of street lighting will collectively save
the 12 public bodies that have agreed to use it £600,000 a year.
The AGMA street lighting electrical
connections project, launched in September, sees independent connection providers
(ICPs) provide unmetered electrical connections to street lighting equipment. The
framework includes seven providers and is expected to save £2.4 million over
the next four years. This is partly due to the lower prices charged by ICPs in
comparison to large energy suppliers.
“We are particularly proud of this project
because the collaboration sought to stimulate the market in a service that has
not historically been extensively competed. It has enabled the local economy to
be stimulated by including some local suppliers on the framework agreement,”
said Stephanie McCahill, procurement manager the AGMA procurement hub.
McCahill said Wigan Council, who instigated
the project, had been trying to overcome the monopoly situation in the
provision of unmetred electrical connections by large energy providers for
street lighting equipment since 2001. Although Ofgem first proposed that ICPs
be used to provide unmetered electrical connections to street lighting
equipment, it is the first time the public authorities have collectively
decided to use ICPs.
The 12 public bodies that agreed to use the
framework are Bolton Council, Bury Metropolitan Borough Council, Lancashire County Council,
Manchester City Council,
St Helens Council,
Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council, Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council, Trafford Council, Transport for Greater Manchester, WarringtonBorough Council and Wigan Council.